The Mafia Reads Funny?

Trapped by the Mob Cover

Why yes, I did take a beloved trope and put my own spin on it. Because that’s what authors do, right? That’s why you keep reading; because we keep introducing new stories, new ideas, new ways to enjoy a storyline you’ve read before.

Such as the mafia. Or better yet, mafia romance. Like this one. Which is mafia romance a’la the Tami Lund special. What does that mean?

It’s means this book is gonna make you chuckle.

Here’s the premise:

TRAPPED BY THE MOB

Sure, Antonio Sarvilli is the money man behind his brother’s criminal empire, but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy. He’s not the one out there killing people. All he does is make greenbacks and enjoy the fruits of his labor.

That attitude changes when his brother assigns him to get to know Phoebe Cavanaugh, a Good Samaritan who witnessed something she wasn’t supposed to.

Now, all Antonio wants is to get out so he can be with Phoebe.

Except that’s not how it works when you’re part of the mob.

 

And here’s the first chapter, even before Amazon will offer it to you:

Chapter One

THE GOOD SAMARITAN

 

“I swear, I’ll never do that again,” Phoebe Cavanaugh muttered to her reflection, which stared back at her with mussed hair—and not the sexy bedhead kind, either—and bags the size of Lake Michigan under her eyes, accentuating a horribly pallid complexion.

“I am not a bad girl,” she added before shoving the toothbrush into her mouth and attempting to scrub away the cotton and lingering taste of tequila. Or maybe that was worm. God, the end of the evening was hazy, but she suspected her evil co-workers had convinced her to eat the damn thing when the last shot had been poured.

“Why did I think I could keep up?” She hadn’t been a heavy drinker when she had been in college, let alone in the five years since graduating. “And on a weekday, no less.”

She trudged back to her bedroom and huffed out a sigh. The digital clock on her bedside table flipped to 8:02.

Phoebe should have been to work an hour ago, and she hadn’t even showered yet. Hell, she was still wearing the jeans and boatneck, striped shirt she’d worn to the bar last night.

Not to mention the roiling in her stomach. Ugh. How the heck did one cure a weekday hangover?

She kicked a running shoe out of her way, and for the first time since dragging herself out of bed, something inside her body perked up. “I’ll sweat it out.”

She nodded, stripping out of last night’s clothes and reaching for her favorite pair of running shorts. “Thirty-minute jog, ten-minute shower, bare minimum makeup, and I’ll stop at McDonald’s on the way to work. I’ll be two hours late, but at least they won’t be able to say I couldn’t hang.”

Hell, she was feeling better already.

A swath of oak trees with massive, sprawling branches lined up on either side of a narrow, winding drive that separated Phoebe’s apartment complex from the main road. The natural barrier helped cut down on the city noises that slammed into her as soon as she hit the sidewalk, running along the road that normally took her to her job, the grocery store, the nearby bar she never intended to step foot into again.

She passed a gas station and hung a left, running along the gravel shoulder of a residential road that cut through a swampy area, which meant it was underdeveloped and thus much quieter with far less traffic. Lots of school buses, though. Usually she was already at work by this point, so she didn’t have to share road time with the big yellow vehicles with their flashing red lights and the stop signs that popped out from the side every time the gears ground to a halt to take on yet another kid.

The bout of nausea hit when she was jogging through a particularly quiet stretch. A wall of eight-foot tall cattails swayed in the gentle breeze to her left, and a gravel path jutted from the main road to her right. A two-story house with dust-covered, white siding stood sentinel, with a smaller cottage tucked behind it, like maybe it was a servant’s quarters or, more likely, a guesthouse. A dark-haired girl stood at the end of the dirt road, presumably waiting for the bus. She kicked pebbles while fiddling with the straps on her purple backpack.

“Oh God.” Phoebe’s stomach had about two seconds before she expelled whatever contents were left from last night, so she dove through the wall of cattails. She preferred to puke in private, thankyouverymuch. Her running shoes sank into muck as she bent at the waist and hacked up what looked like she might very well have eaten that damn worm from the bottom of the tequila bottle.

Sucking in deep breaths and wiping the snot from her nose with the back of her hand, she remained doubled over at the waist until the sound of a car door caught her attention. Glad for the distraction from the grossness at her feet, she gingerly pulled her shoes from the mud and separated the foliage with her hands so she could look out at the road.

A newer model black town car had stopped near the young girl still standing across the street. That was weird. Phoebe glanced up and down the road, but there were no other cars. Or buses. She didn’t see someone who might resemble a parent either. And that guy climbing out of the driver’s seat didn’t look like any father Phoebe would want. Not that she knew her own father or believed they all should look a certain way, but this guy, he would be a better fit in a mafia movie than in, say, a Disney princess book.

Unless the story was about kidnapper dads.

“Holy shit!” She stared through the gap she’d made in the cattails as the guy walked around the car, grabbed the kid by the strap of her purple backpack, and tossed her into the backseat of his car. Okay, maybe it didn’t happen exactly like that, but that little girl had definitely not intended to go with that guy. She was waiting for the bus, wasn’t she?

“Ohmigod, he’s kidnapping her!” Phoebe leaped from her hiding place, waving her arms and shouting, “Stop! Stop! Help! Police! Somebody call the cops!”

The kidnapper’s head snapped up, and for a second she was afraid he was about to pull out a gun and aim it at her. Maybe she watched too many movies. Except the guy was kidnapping that kid, for crying out loud!

Instead of shooting her, he hustled around the car and hopped into the driver’s seat, the tires spinning and kicking dirt and pebbles at her as she raced across the street like she thought she was going to be able to stop him.

“Nina?”

Phoebe jerked her attention to the woman jogging toward her on the dirt road. She must have come from the smaller house tucked behind the big one. The woman wore a pale pink, scoop neck T-shirt and a pair of khaki capris. Her hair was dark, pulled back into a ponytail, and her features were dainty and elfin. Just like the little girl who was speeding away in the backseat of a black sedan with some creepy mob guy.

“Nina,” the woman said again when she reached Phoebe. “Did the bus come?” She sounded on the edge of panic, like she needed Phoebe to lie to her.

“Some guy just kidnapped her,” Phoebe said. “At least, I think so. That was your daughter, right? Dark hair, purple backpack, looks just like you?”

The lady twisted her head back and forth, looking up and down the road. “Yes. Nina. What do you mean, some guy just kidnapped her? Who?”

Phoebe tugged her phone from her shorts pocket and dialed 9-1-1. “How the hell do I know who he was? But I can describe the car and him, although damn it, I didn’t think to get the license—hello? Yes, this is an emergency. I just witnessed a kidnapping. Yes, I’ll—”

“No!” The woman jerked the phone from Phoebe’s hand and pressed the red button on the screen to disconnect the call. “Don’t involve the cops.”

“Don’t what? Are you crazy? Some mafia-looking guy just kidnapped your daughter, lady.” She enunciated the words the way people did when they were speaking to someone who didn’t understand English very well.

“Which is why you can’t involve the police.”

Phoebe’s phone rang. Emergency dispatch flashed on the screen. She took a couple steps away from the crazy lady and answered the call. “Yes, hello? Yes, I did just call and yes, I did witness a kidnapping. I’m at” —she glanced up at the street sign—“the corner of Hiller and Dirk Avenue. Yes, I’ll stay here until the police arrive. Thank you. Uh-uh. Bye.”

She disconnected the call and glanced at the woman who was now frowning at her like she’d done something wrong instead of try to help her get her daughter back. “Are you going into shock? Is that the problem?”

The lady flung out her hand and stormed away, heading down the road that, now that Phoebe got a good look at it, was actually a long, winding driveway. The mother of the year muttered as she walked. Something about ruining everything and now Gino was going to be a complete ass and probably punish her even though she wasn’t the one who called the cops and why couldn’t people just mind their own damn business.

“Hey,” Phoebe said, chasing after her. “If I hadn’t noticed that guy taking your kid, you wouldn’t even know she was gone until she didn’t get off the school bus this afternoon.”

The lady sighed and turned around. “Yes, I would have. I’m sure Gino will call, probably within the hour. He didn’t take her because he actually wants to see her; he took her because I went out on a date last night. Apparently he can screw anyone he damn well pleases, but I can’t even go on one lousy date. And that’s the best part: It was a lousy date.”

Phoebe canted her head and furrowed her brow. “What are you talking about?”

The lady flapped her hand again. “Gino. My ex-husband. I’m sure that’s who took Nina. Well, one of his minions, at any rate, since he never does his own dirty work.”

“Oh. I take it he’s her dad?”

“Of course he is,” she snapped, like the answer was obvious.

“So he won’t hurt her?”

“Doubtful. I mean, I’m pretty sure Gino isn’t actually capable of love, but whatever passes closest to it in his mind is what he feels for Nina. So no, he won’t hurt her. He only did this to torment me.”

“Yeah, you said that. Because you went on a date last night. But didn’t you say he’s your ex-husband?”

“Yes, thank God.”

“Then how is it he has any say over your life whatsoever?”

“Trust me, once you get caught in Gino Sarvilli’s web, you never truly get out again. Even though he granted me the divorce two years ago, the ground rules were clear. I’m only allowed to do whatever Gino says I can do. And having a life, enjoying the company of another man, isn’t on that list.”

“That makes no sense.”

She shrugged. “It does in Gino’s world.”

“You make the guy sound like a dictator or something.”

“You said it,” she said as a police cruiser slowed and turned onto the dirt road, inching toward them. “And this”—she pointed at the cop car— “just made it ten times worse.”

Thanks to an unfortunate situation last fall—which, by the way, hadn’t been her fault—Phoebe had lost her job as a wedding planner. One career change later and she wasn’t quite to the ninety-day mark in her current position. Now she had no idea if she’d even be able to make it in today.

Not the way to impress the new boss.

~~~

And here’s the link to keep reading when it releases on February 28, 2019: PRE-ORDER. 

PS – It will be available in KU!

PSS – The sequel, FREED FROM THE MOB, is scheduled for release on March 28, 2019.

Happy reading!

S-E-X-Y Bad Excerpt From Tami Lund’s Latest Release

Hungry Like A Dragon COVER

“Are you asking if I’m single?”

“Yes, I am.”

“Why do you want to know?”

They’d reached the edge of the forest. If they kept going along the path that circled the lake, they’d walk past the school and eventually head back to Gabe’s house.

“Because I’d like to have sex with you.”

He stopped walking. She paused and glanced up at him. He stared at her— was that was disgust or temptation on his face? The man was damned hard to read.

Finally, he wiped his hand over his face and closed his eyes. “Are you serious?”

“Quite.”

“Why?”

“Why am I serious?”

“Why do you want to have sex with me?”

“I don’t know. I just do.”

“That’s not a good enough reason.”

“You seriously won’t have sex with a willing woman unless she has a good reason?”

“No, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m—”

“Immediate gratification. That’s what I’m looking for. A little down and dirty mutual pleasure. Are you saying that doesn’t interest you?”

“Not at all. I’m just—”

“I’m leaving for New Orleans soon. Tomorrow, if not tonight. I’m not interested in anything beyond mutually satisfying sex. What are you looking for?”

“I wasn’t really looking for anything, actually.”

“No strings attached. No expectations, beyond an orgasm, for each of us. We walk away when we’re done. I go to New Orleans to do this job for Gabe, and you go back to cooking. How does that sound?”

He frowned. “It sounds like we’re negotiating a contract. Which shouldn’t be hot at all.”

She sidled closer, trailed a finger along that dragon’s tail tattooed onto his arm. “But it is, isn’t it?”

“Yeah. Because it’s you.”

“What is it with you?” she asked, sliding her arms around his waist and moving forward, which forced him to walk backward toward the tree line. “It’s a good thing you don’t talk much. Otherwise you’d have women lined up for days, trying to get in your pants.” She dropped her hands and cupped his ass. “Just as firm as it looks.”

“Where are we going?” He glanced over his shoulder and then grasped her waist and guided her slightly right to avoid tripping over a fallen branch.

“Right there,” she said, nodding at the largest tree in the vicinity. He continued backing up until he was leaning against the tree and she was pressed into him, her legs spread, the apex of her thighs throbbing.

“Are you serious?” he asked when she slid her hand under his shirt and gently raked her fingers across the taut muscles of his abdomen. He groaned and said, “I guess so.”

“Come on, Noah. I need this. And I think you do too.”

“More than you can possibly know.”

He took charge then, twisting her around until her back was pressed against the tree. The bark was rough even through her shirt, but it only added to the eroticism of the moment. She was about to get it on with Noah Ladon, and she was wetter than she’d probably ever been in her life. And she’d never given him half a thought before now, beyond, Damn, the man can cook.

“Please,” she begged when he leaned away so he could unsnap her pants. Then he thrust his hand into the waistband and went straight for gold. His fingers stroked through the heat there, and she arched her back and gurgled out another plea.

He twined the other hand in her hair and forced her to look up at him. “I’ll give you what you want, Petra,” he said, his voice low, husky. “Mutual pleasure. Nothing more.” He slid two fingers into her, fucking her, and she clutched at his arms.

“Yes. Oh. Don’t stop.”

She threw her head back and closed her eyes, but he tugged at the strands until she opened them again. He stared at her face while stroking her.

“Oh gods, yes.”

He abruptly jerked his hand from her pants. Petra cried out, realized he was pulling her pants down to her ankles. She dropped her hands onto his shoulders so he could tug off her shoes and then her jeans. And then she watched as he unsnapped his own jeans and pushed them down just enough to free his bobbing erection.

Her mouth watered.

He leaned against her, lifting one of her legs while grasping his cock with his other hand. He stared into her eyes as he guided himself to her opening and then thrust.

Hard.

She grabbed a fistful of his hair and clutched at his shoulder as he pounded into her like he’d been waiting for this day for his entire life. It was so raw, so passionate, so freaking amazing, she wanted it to last forever.

And then her orgasm crashed into her with the force of a godsdamned hurricane. She threw her head back and screamed, and he kept pumping, a mad man, hell-bent on reaching nirvana. When he did, he slammed his lips against hers, kissing her with all the desperation of a man starved for…

A future. And that was the last thing she would ever commit to.

Good thing she was heading out of town for an indefinite period of time.  

Wanna keep reading? HUNGRY LIKE A DRAGON releases on 1/29/2019, and you can pre-order it here:

Amazon     Ibooks      B&N      Kobo

 

PS – Want more Bad Alpha Dads books? Here’s the website: https://www.badalphadads.com/

Happy Reading!

A Prisoner and a Virgin Walk into a Bar…

It’s a new release. It’s the end of a series. It’s the story of a woman who’s job is to save the world, and a man who’s job is to destroy her. Good thing he’s a prisoner. Except she’s become friendly with him, which cannot possibly bode well, for, well, anybody…

Here’s a taste of PRISONER OF FATE, Book 3 in the Twisted Fate Series:

cover

The First’s pet Rakshasa lounged in the wicker chair, one cotton-covered leg crooked over the armrest, the other perched on the floor. He hummed a tune Lily didn’t recognize, while he twirled what looked like a grilled jumbo shrimp on a stick.

He abruptly stopped humming and lifted his face and sniffed the air. Lily scuttled behind a nearby pillar. She waited until her heart wasn’t beating quite so erratically, then she peeked out from behind the column.

The shifter stared directly at her with unblinking black eyes.

“Oh,” she squeaked, unnerved by the solid, steady stare.

“Chala.” His voice was deep, like that actor from the insurance commercials she saw on television.

Lily felt that intense sense of awareness sweep through her again, licking at her insides, making her feel both hot and cold at the same time. She dropped her head back and leaned against the cool pillar and gave in to the racking shiver.

“No need to hide, Chala. I cannot harm you so long as you remain outside the reach of my lovely necklace.” He chuckled at his own joke.

Lily risked another look. He still lounged on the wicker chair, although the shrimp on the end of the stick was gone. And he still watched her with that breathtaking intensity.

“I–I didn’t think you would be awake,” she stuttered.

“I wouldn’t think you would be awake,” he countered. “It is terribly late. Is it not past your bedtime, Chala?”

Lily slowly stepped out from behind the pillar and stood next to it, feeling oddly exposed. Not returning to her room to change suddenly seemed like a poor decision.

“It’s Lily,” she said. “Lily Gallow. I hate it when people call me Chala,” she said, hoping he would appreciate the show of solidarity. She had to believe he hated to be referred to as “Pet.”

“Why? Are you not a Chala? Have my senses finally gone askew, after all this time?”

“Yes, I am. But I have a name, and I prefer people use it. Just as I imagine you do.”

“Are you asking for my name, Chala?”

“Yes,” she said boldly. “You must have one. Everyone has a name.”

“The First does not,” he pointed out.

“She does,” Lily countered. “She just chooses not to use it. You, I assume, didn’t have a choice in the matter.”

He paused, watching her for several heartbeats worth of time. “No,” he said finally. “I was not given a choice.”

Lily rolled her eyes. “I take it you aren’t going to tell me.”

The shifter chuckled. “Maybe I do not remember. I have been called Pet for a thousand years, you know.”

Lily shook her head. “You remember. I’m sure of it.” She paused, and when he still did not offer his name, she asked, “What do you miss most about your freedom?”

The shifter stared at her, blinking far less frequently than most other people she’d encountered. Finally, he sighed and kicked his foot into the air.

“I haven’t had a good kill, a good steak, or a good fuck in a thousand years. I miss everything, Lily Gallow. Everything.”

Fall in love with the entire Twisted Fate series…

ofloveanddarkness-large  PrimAndProperFate  PrisonerOfFate_200x300

Of Love and Darkness – Meet Gavin, a cursed Rakshasa, and Sydney, the last remaining Chala on earth. It’s up to her to save her species. A species, by the way, that Gavin’s kind wants to destroy. Except he’s cursed and believes he’s like her. Oh, and he happens to think they’re mates. This is definitely not a match made in heaven.

Amazon US        Amazon UK        Amazon AU       Amazon CA     Free in KU

Prim and Proper Fate – After double-crossing Gavin and nearly getting him killed, Brandon now finds himself in the precarious position of actually trying to save the cursed Rakshasa, because, well, some dumbass Fate un-cursed him. Brandon reaches out to the one person he knows can help—a prissy, too-good-for-her-own britches Fate named Prim, whose body makes him think anything but proper thoughts. Prim also happens to have a secret. One that could save their kind.

Amazon US               Amazon UK       Amazon AU      Amazon CA      Free in KU

Prisoner of Fate – Lily is a 170-year-old virgin shifter who has been hiding out on a desert island for her entire life. Now that she’s joined the real world she resents her responsibilities to her species: To choose the right mate and get to work repopulating the world with Light Ones who will protect the humans. Which is the very last thing she wants to do.

And then she meets Matteo, a Rakshasa—those shifters who like to eat humans as snacks. He’s been a prisoner of the Fates for a thousand years, and she has no business befriending him.

Lily never knew she had a thing for bad boys…

Amazon US           Amazon CA         Amazon AU        Amazon UK           Free in KU

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

 

Tami Lund is a wine drinker, award-winner, and writer of sexy and funny book series. Check out the rest of her books while you’re here.

Happy Release Day, M.S. Kaye!

Once & Again

book 2

SheOnce&Again.v4 was once his secret desire… Will she be again?

Father Aiden, an ex-marine and new priest, falls in love with Maylynn, but he struggles to stay away from her. He’s successful for many years, though he can’t keep her out of his dreams.

Then one day she shows up for a pre-marital counselling session with her fiancé, Davis. Aiden soon realizes Davis isn’t who he says he is, but what does that mean for Maylynn, and for himself?

Will be released August 4, 2016 from Inkspell Publishing.

Add to your to-read on Goodreads.

Author Bio:MSK.v1

M.S. Kaye has several published books under her black belt. A transplant from Ohio, she resides with her husband Corey in Jacksonville, Florida, where she tries not to melt in the sun. Find suspense and the unusual at www.BooksByMSK.com.

To receive news on upcoming releases, sign up for email updates on her website.

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Once, book one

Will be released July 2, 2016 from Inkspell Publishing.

Her first and also her once.

Jonathan and Rebecca’s paths cross at exactly the right moment, when each most needs to hear what the other has to say.

But Jonathan is three days from entering the priesthood, and Rebecca leaves him to his peace. But he is unable to find peace.

Without each other’s comfort and strength, they must each struggle to forge a new path, with only memories of the one day that changed everything.

But are they able to forget and let go?

Once & Forever, book three

Will be released December 2016 from Inkspell Publishing.

Eden, a nun, is constantly struggling against her dark past of living on the streets, and her attraction to Trace, an ex-convict farm worker. After a twelve-year separation, Eden is finally reunited with her brother, Thomas, but why hadn’t she reached out to him in all those years? As Eden and Trace grow closer, confessing their pasts to each other, will they be able to resist getting too close?

Excerpt:

“You’re studying to be a priest?”

He made himself meet her eyes. “I am a priest.”

She let go of his hand and stepped back.

Her smiled was tight. “I’m glad you found your path.”

Quiet.

He couldn’t quite read her expression. The distance between them felt like a gorge chiseled into the earth.

“Are you all right, Maylynn?” he asked.

“I’m really happy for you.” Then she added, “Father Aiden.”

For some reason, her words stabbed him in the gut. He usually liked when people used his title—it seemed to imply a certain amount of trust.

“I’m sorry, Maylynn.” He wasn’t entirely sure why he was apologizing. He just didn’t like to see her uncomfortable.

“I’m happy for you,” she repeated.

Then he realized what the problem was. He hadn’t anticipated this.

He moved closer. “I’m so sorry.”

Her forced smile finally dropped. “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”

“It didn’t occur to me…”

“That I might be attracted to you?”

“Yes.”

“Why aren’t you wearing your collar?” Anger prickled the edge of her voice.

“My mother’s last wish was that I find my father. I’ve been following her notes. She was convinced he was somewhere in this area.”

“Wait… Your mother’s name was Adalina?”

He nodded. With the number of times the shelter was mentioned in the notes, he figured his mother and Maylynn had met.

A pause.

Anger flashed in her eyes. “You still should’ve told me.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Why’d you play with me like that?”

“I swear that wasn’t my intent.”

“You knew damn well what was going on. Was it a game—see if you still had it? If you could still get the chicks?”

Under the anger in her eyes, he saw the hurt. He swore he could feel it exactly, as if it was his own.

He shifted even closer, just in front of her. “I’m sorry,” he said again. His voice lowered, quieted. “I didn’t see what you were feeling because I was fighting so hard myself. I still am.”

“Fighting what?”

“What I felt the first time I saw you, what I’m still feeling.”

She waited, glaring at him.

“I’m attracted to you,” he said. “Intensely.”

One Shot Advice & A New Romance Series

New release alert! New release alert! Today, I have the privilege of hosting Misti Murphy on my blog. What makes it such a privilege, you ask? Besides the fact that she’s a super nice person and she writes decidedly delicious smutty romance? Sounds like I really don’t need another reason, doesn’t it? Yeah, well I have one anyway. Today is RELEASE DAY for her Magnetic Desire Series. That’s right, three books are available for public consumption, all at once, as of TODAY!

I’m so happy for Misti! I’ve read her first book, Raven Falling, as well as the short she wrote for the Unwrapping Love Christmas anthology. And I’ve had the privilege of reading the next books coming in the Magnetic Desires Series! (Being an author’s friend has it’s perks.) I can say with authority that you will love this book, and the entire series. I love Misti’s writing style, not to mention her broken yet lovable heroes, and of course, the steamy scenes. Misti knows how to write a scorching hot sex scene.

*Fans self*

Oh yeah, and let’s not forget those super HAWT covers. Check them out below, after you read Misti’s post and the excerpt from Compulsion. As if you’ll need another excuse to pick up this series!

Anyway, let’s get to today’s Jello Shot June blog post, brought to you by Misti Murphy. And if you want to start this series, you can do so HERE.

 

Tequila Shots

I’m not going to give you a recipe today. I don’t think you need one for tequila shots. They’re pretty easy. You lick the salt, you sip the tequila and you suck that damn lemon for all your worth. Lick, sip, suck. Sounds like the perfect shot for a smutty romance writer.

So I’m going to talk about my slight obsession with this shot and why it’s important to my writing.

A few years ago, before I became a serious writer someone taught me that to live life, you couldn’t just go through the motions, but that you actually had to take the time to enjoy it. At the time we were heading out on the town and having tequila shots. These shots became an institution, ‘Tequila Friday’ which were held once a month and turned into quite large gatherings.

I didn’t quite get the point back then. I mean tequila shots, with the salt and the lemon. They’re good even if they do taste like nail polish remover, and Friday nights were fun. But here’s the thing…

The lesson I really learnt was to go out and have fun doing whatever you’re doing, and for me that is writing. I love writing more than I love tequila. Yeah, see ya later tequila. I’m one of those writers who cannot drink and write.

And when I write I remember the tequila, the cocktails, the scotch I no longer have time to drink, but don’t miss because I get more joy from writing smutty romance than I ever got from drinking. And I remember that even though the characters that fill the pages are for the most part not real people, they too deserve to live life and enjoy it. Perhaps that’s why almost every book I write has a scene with tequila, like the excerpt below from my debut contemporary romance, Compulsion, which is now available on Amazon.

***

Ordering tequila and beers, I pulled her between me and the bar and grazed the nape of her neck with my teeth. She shivered from my touch and leaned on the bar, subtly moving away from me. Only, the way she was leaning didn’t take her further away. “Are you sure you want to lean on the bar like that?”

“What?” She glanced at me over her shoulder.

Sliding my fingers over one hip, I took her wrist in my other hand, darting my tongue over the pulse point. “Leaning like that puts that sexy ass of yours dangerously close to my crotch.”

“Oh.”

Still holding her wrist, I sprinkled salt over the moist spot I’d left with my tongue, and clamped her fingers around a slice of lemon. Picking up a shot glass, I tossed back the tequila before sliding my lips over her salted skin and sucking the lemon between her fingers.

“Why?” She trembled while I went through the ritual again, this time salting the length of my thumb as well.

Because I couldn’t let you get away a second time. “Why what?”

“Why are you doing this? You could have any girl.” She darted glances around the room, but my gaze was on her. Not the girls, in barely there clothes, assets on display. That wasn’t what I wanted.

“Let’s have a drink.” I handed her a shot. “We’ll talk later.”

“You don’t have to take me home, Orion. I know you’d do anything for me, but this…”

I tipped my glass, and nibbled along her wrist. “This is what I want.”

***

The Magnetic Desires Series:

Compulsion CoverADDICTIONEBOOKIMMERSIONEBOOK

Compulsion blurb:

Stranded in the friend zone, Orion’s been in love with his best friend Clo since high school, unable to work out how to get her to see him as more.

After catching her husband cheating, Clo turns to her best friend Orion for support, only to find he wants more than she’s willing to give.

While Orion shows her that not all men are pricks, and not all roses have thorns, Clo must find a way to let go of the past and open herself up to a second chance at love.

 

Misti Murphy Author PicA little about the author and where you can connect:

Misti Murphy writes about smart, sexy women and the dirty talking alphas that love them.  She also enjoys emotionally torturing them. Damaged alphas with a twist are her favorite.
When she’s not writing, she’s enjoying her own happily ever after with her teacher hubby, four hellions, and two fur babies. She has a weakness for chocolate, procaffinating, and stalking Facebook. You can connect with Misti using both options below:

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Enjoy A Charlottini Today! Courtesy of Author Charlotte Daly

Happy Jello Shot June! Thank you, Tami Lund, for hosting me on your blog.

Summer has finally arrived here in New England, which means it’s time to paarrt-y! Break out the shakers and fancy glasses. There’s nothing better than sitting poolside or swinging in a shady hammock with a cool cocktail in your hand.

I’m a martini girl, and one of my favorites is a personal creation, one I have dubbed the Charlottini (makes 2):

1 jigger Citrus Vodka (Absolut Citron is my favorite)

½ jigger Triple Sec

2 jiggers Ocean Spray Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice (the light, low-cal one works fine)

Wedge of fresh lime

Pour liquor over ice in shaker and blend thoroughly. Squeeze lime into the bottom of a chilled martini glass and wipe lime around rim. Strain cocktail into glass, sip, and enjoy!

Repeat as necessary. Possibly often.

 

My upcoming contemporary romance, Memories of You from Lachesis Publishing, has a summer-bar-party theme.

 

What happens when a big-city Cinderella trades her shattered glass slipper for a pair of FMP stilettos? That’s how Zoe Anderson chooses to cope after her husband’s murder, her brutal rape. But it’s been three years, and her persistent psychotic episodes now threaten her job. Her shrink says to reboot: start over, return to an earlier, happier time. So she’s headed upstate where she spent summers as a kid. Zoe’s inherited her aunt’s lakeside cottage in the mountains—perfect timing—but finds it, like her life, in shambles.

Playboy Jason Rolland appears to have everything—a successful business, his own radio show, and all the beach babes he can handle. His resort has Zoe’s childhood vacation home landlocked, and now he wants the rest—razed. He’s already erased every other trace of his own false-perfect childhood, one that convinced Jason true love doesn’t exist, and that he’s destined to follow in his father’s unfaithful footsteps.

Zoe finds herself a reluctant guest at Lakeview Lodge. She befriends the elegant Jamaican bartender, Jade, and when Jason’s womanizing ways chases off Jade’s summer help, Zoe steps up. She tended bar nights while she was in college, and she can’t think of a better way to keep busy and rewind her life to happier times.

But Jason has his sights set on Zoe, and quickly succumbs to jealousy as he watches her flirt with bar patrons . . .

Excerpt from Memories of You, Book 1 in The Lake George Series:

~~~

Jason drained his glass and slammed it down on the table. He waved at the waitress, who hesitated when she saw him. She cast a worried glance over her shoulder, then disappeared into the bar. A few moments later, it was Jade who rounded the corner and stood there, glaring.

“What the hell is the matter with you, Mon?” Jade’s hands were rolled into tight fists on her hips. Standing over him as she was, Jason could swear she’d grown to nine feet tall. And she seemed to be wavering just a little. Or was that his eyes? Yes, perhaps it was. The flowers on her blouse were…moving. Swaying in the breeze. But there’s no wind in here. Jason chuckled and swiped a hand over his face.

I think four double vodkas might be my limit.

“So how’s Zoe’s real estate negotiations going? You’d think…” he hiccuped, “you’d think as the other interested party in this venture, I’d have been involved, wouldn’t ya?” Jason found it difficult to make the words come out without spitting. His tongue felt lazy, swollen.

Wow, vodka is a wonderful anesthetic. Makes talking a little challenging, though. But it’s a very effective painkiller. I don’t feel nearly as bad now as I did earlier.

Jade was scowling at him, shaking her head. “You’re drunk on your ass.”

“Don’t you look at me like that, big sister. I’m a grown man. I can drink as much as I want.” With his head tipped back, struggling to keep his eyes focused on Jade’s face, he was feeling a little dizzy.

Wow, she’s really tall tonight.

Jason tried to stand up. Jade’s hand came down on his shoulder and slammed him back into his seat.

“No scenes. This is my place of business too. You just keep your sorry ass right there in the chair.” She turned and motioned for one of the waitresses. “Go tell Claude we need some help out here,” she murmured when one drew near.

“I’m not hungry,” Jason sputtered. “What the hell do I need Claude for?”

But there he was, appearing as if out of nowhere right beside Jade. The man, whose mass was always intimidating, looked even bigger to Jason.

It’s like Alice in Wonderland. Everybody is either bigger or taller.

Jason chuckled at the thought, and was struggling to form the words around his lazy tongue when Jade said, “Claude, Mr. Rolland isn’t feeling well tonight. Can you please help him up to his cabin?”

Claude reached to untie his stained, cook’s apron, but Jade laid a hand on his arm.

“Better leave that on. We’ll get you a clean one when you get back,” she murmured.

“I’m not ready to go to my cabin,” Jason began. He planted both hands on the table and tried again to stand. “I need to have some words with our pretty little barmaid.”

But before the words were out of his mouth, he felt Claude’s bulbous arm hook his rib cage and lift him to his feet.

Man, this guy’s strong. And fast. We’re moving way too fast.

The whole room was swaying now, and the movement made Jason’s stomach lurch. He just couldn’t seem to keep his feet moving fast enough to keep up with Claude’s pace. His toes kept scraping along the floor, bumped over the doorstep, and then thumped down the steps to the parking lot.

Charlotte Day

Book Trailer here: http://youtu.be/a_5k8GfbcU8

Find me on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1FCMS80

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CharlotteDalyA1

Website: www.charlotteday.net

Who’s the Bad Guy with Victoria Pinder

It’s Mad May, and today I’m featuring a book written by Victoria Pinder. I’ll let you in on a secret: I love, love, love books with a twist. Especially the kind of twist where the reader thinks someone else is the bad guy, when really… Boom! Surprise antagonist. The kind that keeps you reading well past a sane person’s bedtime. Did I mention how much I love books like that?

Borrowing the Doctor is THAT kind of book. First, check out the excerpt. Then, check out the blurb. Then click the buy link. You know you want to. I know I do.

*

‘My sister Kate thinks she’s so much better than me. I’m the one Daddy trained to run the fashion empire, not her. I’m the one who found myself a rich guy to marry to ensure we stayed on top, no matter what. All Kate does is patronize me. She’s so stupid. I hate her. She lives in her little condo with her dog and avoids me. I sent her my wedding invitation though, so with luck she’ll come. I need her to get momma’s necklace. It’s in the bank. First I have to get her to the Grand Cayman which I can with this wedding. Second I’ll have to get her to the bank as the security box is in her name. Third I’ll have to get her to give me the necklace. Then I’ll have everything and she’ll have nothing.’

“Stephanie, where are you?”

“Here, my sweet love.”

Eric’s such an idiot. She smiled at him and lifted her shoulders as he came toward her. As he pressed his lips toward her, she sighed. At least he’s good in bed.

“What were you doing?”

“Writing in my diary.”

“Why?”

“Collecting wedding thoughts so I can ensure our day is perfect, my love.”

“My parents can’t come.”

“Why?”

“My sister is missing. My cousins will be there.”

“I sent our invitation to my sister. Part of me wants her to come. Part of me is scared she’ll ruin everything. Eric, please help me find someone who can babysit Kate and keep her out of my hair.”

“I will think of someone, sweetheart.”

He walked out of the room. She rolled her eyes. Eric was a means to an end. She needed his money, for now. She clutched her hands together. Kate Sparrow had to give her what she wanted. Stephanie Sparrow deserved to have it all.

 

 

 

Borrowing_the_Doctor_#3A_copyBorrowing the Doctor by Victoria Pinder

Link: http://amzn.to/1wc1u6X

What’s it about?

Party girl. Art thief. All around bad girl. It’s what all the newspapers call socialite and heiress Kate Sparrow. It’s all untrue. Kate’s been set up and she’s following the orders of the FBI to get the real criminal, her father. She’ll have to put up with her sister, the wedding fiasco, and her own fears that someone is after her, trying to stop her to get what she needs to prove her innocence.

Doctor Daniel Collins joins his brothers on a cruise to the wedding of his young cousin. His cousin begs him to keep a close watch on the bride’s sister, Kate. He’s to keep her from ruining the wedding.

Kate doesn’t trust Daniel’s help in her life, but the man’s interference is blocking a few problems. She lets him. After all, he spent a few years in the military and having a friend like Daniel is nice. But when her fears become true, someone is after her, pretending to be in a relationship with the sexy doctor has its benefits. What she hadn’t planned was opening her heart to trusting him. But if she doesn’t open up, she’s going to lose out on far more than her life, she’d lose out on love.

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/VUcbTGD7UnE

 

 

Victoria’s Bio:

Victoria Pinder grew up in Irish Catholic Boston then moved to Miami. Eventually, found that writing is her passion.

She always wrote stories to entertain herself. Her parents are practical minded people demanding a job, but when she sat down to see what she enjoyed doing, writing became obvious.

The Zoastra Affair, Chaperoning Paris, Borrowing the Doctor, and Electing Love, Mything the Throne and Favorite Coffee, Favorite Crush will be published in 2014.

Now she is represented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency.

Also she’s the Vice President for the Florida Romance Writers.

Victoria’s info, if you wanna stalk her:

Website: http://www.victoriapinder.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/victoriapinder1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/victoriapinder

Blog: http://victoriapinder.com/?cat=6

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8120316.Victoria_Pinder

 

Another Excerpt!

Daniel slid into his seat and away from Eric, but his arms remained tense. His brothers wouldn’t like this plan. He didn’t like this plan. “I’m to babysit the spoiled rich princess and keep her away from the cops and the alcohol, this trip.”

He pressed his lips together. He expected his brothers to have an opinion, but silence greeted his ears.

All eyes went back to the door.

His collar grew warmer. Daniel glanced around to stare in the same direction. He assumed Kate Sparrow had stepped into the club.

His eyes scanned the room, and then the crowds parted. He had his first look. Time might have stopped, and he heard his own heartbeat. Brown hair with a bit of a curl, brown eyes, small frame, unusually large breasts for a woman her size, and an energy that took his breath away. He also noted that Kate’s eyes held a gleam, and Daniel’s mouth fell open. Kate Sparrow was the most beautiful woman he’d seen in a long while.

Beauty meant trouble. He turned back to his beer and refused to stare at her.

The pictures in the papers hadn’t done her justice at all. How did they turn that pretty woman into a viper with a camera? His mind raced. Did she have a Jekyll and Hyde personality that came out at night?

*

 Go ahead, pick it up today. You know you want to. And when you’re done reading it, come on back to my blog. All month, I’m featuring antagonists – those characters we love to hate!

 

 

Shift Happens

Have you ever had a bad day? Like a really, really bad day?

Ellie, the heroine in Shift Happens, is having the grand pappy of bad days. For one, it’s raining. Frizzy hair? Check. For another, a gorgeous billionaire just visited her nail salon. Sounds good, right? See the aforementioned bad hair day. When said billionaire offers to buy her shop, Ellie’s day goes from bad to worse. Two million dollars sounds like a good deal, but the transaction comes to an abrupt halt when the baddies show up and riddle her shop with bullets.

Poor Ellie. Gal can’t catch a break.

Now she’s on the run with a sexy stranger, unsure when she’ll make it back to Atlanta. But there’s always the flip side. Jackson, her unexpected savior, is gorgeous and intent on making her his. His friends aren’t that bad either. Now if they can just find a way to protect Jackson’s invention and stay alive.

Shift Happens is book one in a brand new series, I Heart Shifters. Each installment will be short, hot, and funny as heck. I’m excited about this project, and I hope everyone gets a kick out of Ellie’s antics.

Thank you to Tami for having me today! I’m always pleased to visit new sites, and I hope you can come visit me soon.

 

Shift Happens 

Shift Happens (I Heart Shifters, Book 1)

Christy Gissendaner

 What’s this book about?

Ellie Reynolds runs a nail salon that caters to shifters of all varieties. The proverbial shift hits the fan when billionaire mogul Jackson Lawrence walks in the door and offers Ellie two million dollars to sell her shop. Ellie has no intention of selling out, especially to someone who plans to bulldoze her shop to the ground and replace it with a fast food joint. Their battle of wit and will is brought to a sudden halt when Jackson’s enemies appear, throwing them into a fight for their lives.

Jackson believed he’d left violence behind when he resigned his position with the Blood Wolves, a secret shifter military group, but someone wants his company’s cyber invention and will stop at nothing to get it. He didn’t mean to drag Ellie into his mess, but he’s willing to do anything to protect her and the firewall his friend created…anything except fight his attraction to the outspoken redhead he’s suddenly responsible for. Jackson soon learns Ellie is hotter than he first gave her credit for…like dragon hot…and life is about to get a whole lot more interesting.

Sometimes shift happens when you least expect it.

 Buy Links:

http://www.etopiapress.com/brands/Christy-Gissendaner.html

http://www.amazon.com/Christy-Gissendaner/e/B002BLS3IC/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_17?qid=1429574475&sr=8-17

 

Check out this tasty excerpt (see – there’s my Appetizing April reference!): 

At exactly eight forty, Jackson returned to the counter. “According to previously stated policy, your eight thirty appointment is canceled. May I speak with you now?”

She glared at him but finally relented. “Fine. But if Mrs. Sussman shows up, you’re out of here.”

He lifted an eyebrow and nodded. “Fair enough. Your animosity is a bit of a mystery, but I think you’ll be happy once you hear what I have to say.”

His assessment was spot-on. What was it about him that pricked her ire, besides the overwhelming libidinal response? Typically she wasn’t a hateful sort of person, but instinctively she knew she had to be careful around him. He threw her off-balance, and she didn’t like the feeling. “I’m sure you’re used to women falling over themselves to talk to you, but I’m not your typical female.”

He smirked. “I can tell.”

A flush burned her from head to toe at the implication. She wasn’t skinny or particularly beautiful, but damn, couldn’t he show a bit of interest? She had big boobs, after all. What man didn’t like big boobs? Unless he was—

She glanced at him. Nope. Definitely not gay.

Wait. What was she doing? Did she want him to show interest?

Oh God, she did.

“Is there a place we can go to talk?”

She plucked a piece of lint from her smock and flicked it away. “Here’s fine. Say your piece. I’m a busy woman.”

Another smile crossed his face, soul-shattering because this time it was directed at her. “I like you, Ellie Reynolds.”

Something was wrong with her knees. Had to be. They kept giving out on her. Was twenty-five too young to have arthritis? Was it even possible for her to have it? Suddenly she wished she’d paid more attention when her mother taught her about her shifter heritage, if only for medical purposes.

In an effort to maintain control of the conversation, she borrowed one of her Nana’s favorite expressions. “Stop blowing smoke up my ass and get on with it.”

The tolerant light in his eyes extinguished. She wouldn’t have believed it if she hadn’t seen it herself, but his entire demeanor transformed, becoming the man she recognized on the cover of business and financial magazines, the man who bought and sold property for a living. “I want to buy Polished.”

Shock held her immobile. “What would a savvy businessman like you need with a small-time salon?”

“I have an investment opportunity, but I need your building to complete the transaction. I can’t go into further details. Contract negotiations, you understand.”

Actually she didn’t. She’d bought Polished, scoring a hell of a deal when the previous owner died and the son agreed to take a low-ball offer. “I see. How much are you offering?”

Not that she would consider it, but it couldn’t hurt to ask.

“Two million dollars.”

She choked on her spit. “Come again?”

Want more? How about another (sexier) excerpt?

Rain kept up a staccato rhythm on the tin roof, and her supersensitive hearing picked out every drop. She’d never be able to sleep like this, not while her mind was racked by thoughts of Jackson. The situation was laughable. She should be more worried about her safety and instead all she could think about was the fine-looking man in the room across the hall, like the perfect dimples in his cheeks when he smiled really big, or the perfect symmetry of his gorgeous face. And that ass. She could bounce a quarter off that ass.

She groaned as the familiar heat filled the place between her thighs. She needed something to take her mind off Jackson.

Milk. That’s what she needed. A nice, cool glass of milk.

Well, what she really needed was her vibrator, but it was at home, tucked safely away in her drawer under a bundle of handmade scarves that she’d bought and never worn.

Ellie slid out of bed and tugged the hem of the too-short nightgown. She’d picked out a size eight when she was more like a twelve, so Jackson wouldn’t know her true clothing dimensions. When he’d gone to pay for the items she’d chosen, he’d merely lifted an eyebrow but wisely chosen not to say anything. Could she help it if she’d been born with a fondness for sweets? Blame Nana’s genes, not her own lack of will.

Speaking of sweets, cookies would be nice too. She wondered if Jackson had any in the cabinets. He seemed to keep the Montevallo home stocked with foodstuffs since they hadn’t had to stop for groceries.

A few minutes later, with chocolate chip cookies clutched in both hands and a mug of milk hooked around her thumbs, she crept back down the hall toward her room. She bent her head to take a bite of a cookie and lost her grip on the drink. She cursed when the mug fell out of her hands. The milk spilled across her toes and the ceramic shattered when it hit the wooden planks.

“Ellie!” Jackson jerked his bedroom door open and appeared in the doorway, disheveled and entirely too yummy. He wore nothing but boxers and oh geez, he had a six-pack. A perfectly lickable six-pack that made her mouth and sex water. She hoped she wouldn’t drool, although it was a distinct possibility.

“I’m sorry for waking you.”

Jackson ran a hand over his shorn hair. “Fuck. I thought they’d found us.”

“Nope, just the cookie monster.” She held up the cookies in her hands and grimaced. How embarrassing. “Want one?”

He came forward until their toes touched. Hers, milky and chilled. His, warm and dry. She wanted to feel her feet wrapped around his beneath the covers. She wanted to feel everything of his beneath the covers, actually.

His thumb brushed the corner of her lips. “Chocolate,” he explained right before he licked his finger.

Damn her knees. Useless joints that they were. “Umm.”

And damn her larynx for not working properly.

His gaze dropped and she suddenly realized she was in the too-short, too-tight nightgown. Her boobs stretched the cotton material and she didn’t need to look down to know she was nipping. If she turned around, he could probably tell she wasn’t wearing panties. She’d never been so self-conscious before, but never had she been in the presence of a hot-ass canine shifter who was practically naked.

Jackson’s expression turned predatory. His cheeks seemed to hollow out, becoming more pronounced, and his nostrils flared as if he’d caught a whiff of something. Perhaps it was her. The quick shower she’d taken had been hours before. Then again, no panties. Perhaps he smelled her scent. She clamped her thighs tight together and prayed he didn’t laugh. The situation was embarrassing enough without suffering unrequited lust.

“Ellie.” He spoke her name again, but it was low-pitched and soft.

Oh God. She wanted to eat the cookies in his bed. But later. Much, much later. “Yeah?”

“I owe you something.” He slid a hand around her waist and cupped the upper swell of her butt. His fingers spread out in a proprietary manner, as if he was sure of his welcome. “I wanted to wait until all this shit was over, but you’re killing me. I can’t hold out any longer.”

Neither could she. She went up on tiptoe and puckered her lips. He stared at her as he traced the seam of her lips with his index fingers. “I think you misunderstand the type of kiss I want from you.”

About the Author:

Christy Gissendaner is a paranormal and contemporary romance author who believes laughter and love should go hand in hand.

 

Christy lives in Alabama with her husband and three sons. She’s always hard at work on her next novel, but in her spare time she loves blackjack, karaoke, and anything resembling a vacation!

 

Christy G Author PicTo find out more, please visit http://christygissendaner.webs.com

http://www.twitter.com/christygis

http://www.facebook.com/christygis

http://www.goodreads.com/christygissendaner

Do you love it? I do! Shift Happens has everything I love in a good book: shifters, sex, and humor. Not to mention the promise of more!

Okay, after you’ve gotten yourself hooked on Christy Gissendaner’s latest book, head on back to my blog, as next month is Mad May, and you don’t want to miss all the antagonists we have for you. Love them or hate them, you know you can’t resist them…

In the meantime, happy reading!

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Magic and Food Featuring New Release Light Beyond the Darkness

It’s here, it’s here! Light Beyond the Darkness, Lightbearer #3, is finally available for purchase! And conveniently for this month’s blog theme, Appetizing April, this book happens to be about a chef. Carley and Reid meet in – of all places – a restaurant, where she inadvertently attracts him with her special steak rub. Below is an excerpt from the beginning of the book. This is when Reid sees Carley for the first time… Let me know what you think!

~~~

LightBeyondDarkness_Cover

Her. 

He stopped and stared. Take away the magical sparks dancing over her skin, and he supposed she wasn’t particularly exceptional-looking. In fact, it appeared she was doing her best to downplay whatever positive attributes she might possess. The hair severely pulled away from her face, the lack of makeup, the oversize chef’s coat, all lay proof to his suspicions. He knew nothing of other magical beings, but he knew enough about females in general to know that they tended to play up what they considered their best features, not tone them down.

Despite this, Reid found himself attracted to her, even from halfway across the room, without so much as a word spoken between them.

He’d never considered that he might be attracted to a specific type of being. Until just a few months ago, he would have assumed his type was simply female shifter. Prior to this foray into the human world, he’d never lain with any females other than shifters. Human women were new to him, so he hadn’t yet determined if he desired a specific type of human female. And never in his wildest fantasies had he imagined he would run into a lightbearer and actually wonder, Is this my type?

She recognized his presence while he was still trying to come to terms with the reality of seeing a lightbearer in the flesh, standing a few feet away. The only other time that had happened was last summer, when Quentin Lyons had captured one, and his son then escaped with her. That had ultimately led to Quentin’s death, his pack being dispersed, and the various members being assigned to new, smaller packs. Reid had left before that occurred. He had no wish to learn the ways and rules of a new pack master. Not after what he’d gone through with the last one.

This experience was far different from Reid’s only other experience with a lightbearer. The last one had been a prisoner and had been sentenced to die, because Quentin believed that whoever killed her would inherit her magic. A shifter with magic above and beyond the ability to change forms at will. It was a heady concept.

This lightbearer was—apparently—the head chef at one of Chicago’s most popular restaurants. Living in the human world. He’d noticed no other trace of magic aside from hers, so he suspected she lived there alone, without the protection of others of her own kind. How had it taken Quentin forty years to find one, if they lived among the humans like this? If her steak was as good as Reid suspected it was, he could not fathom that a shifter or two had not stumbled across this particular restaurant before. Shifters loved their red meat, and considering their typically obsessive personalities, they would go to great lengths to try a delicious steak dinner.

At least Reid would.

In the space of a handful of heartbeats, she was surrounded by humans, both female and male, and none with particularly welcoming expressions on their faces.

“Hey, no civilians back here, buddy,” one human sharply announced. She had blue-black hair, heavy dark makeup, and piercings in every visible orifice. She reminded him a little of some of the female shifters he knew.

He was amused by the way she stood slightly in front of the lightbearer, almost as if she expected an attack. But surely not? All magical beings understood one overriding rule: never tell the humans about the magical side of your nature.

The lightbearer had yet to speak, although he could tell by her widened eyes, rapid breathing, and the stench of fear in the air that she knew precisely what he was.

“I only wanted to compliment the chef,” he said, his gaze fixed on the lightbearer.

She lifted a hand and cupped her narrow, smooth neck, as her eyes widened farther and her breathing escalated a notch or two.

“Usually people do that without actually leaving their seats,” the dark-haired human woman said. “And you need to get out of our kitchen. It’s a health-code violation for you to be back here.”

He could care less about anyone’s health except that lightbearer’s. He had no specific code, not anymore. And if there was to be any violating around here…

He stepped forward, extended his hand, and bowed his head slightly, not an act of submission, but an act of acknowledgment. I know you’re afraid. I don’t intend to hurt you. 

She did not accept his gesture. If anything, she shrank away even more.

“Order—oh.” A server hustled through the swinging doors and then stopped short when she spotted Reid standing there. One of the other chefs extended his arm across the stainless-steel counter and snagged the meal ticket from her hand. Then he turned and shoved it at the lightbearer, clearly trying to pull her attention away from Reid.

“We need to get back to work, Carley,” he said. “The orders are starting to back up.”

Carley. Was that the lightbearer’s name? Reid continued to stand there, continued to watch her. Wisps of silver-blonde hair stuck out from under her chef’s hat, which was a tall, white paper contraption that perched at a jaunty angle on her head. While everyone else in the room looked sweaty and bordering on exhaustion, she looked as fresh as a spring breeze.

Magic. Only magic could keep someone looking so damn unaffected amidst the chaos of a popular restaurant kitchen on a Friday evening.

“I’d like to speak to you,” he said, his gaze never wavering. “Alone.”

She shook her head and accepted the ticket that was thrust into her hands. She looked down, read what was scribbled there, and finally spoke to him.

“That isn’t possible,” she said without looking up from the ticket. And then she apparently decided to act as if he wasn’t there, and began issuing orders to the humans, each one scrambling to do as she commanded.

It was fascinating to watch. Until the spunky human woman with the blue-black hair stepped in front of him and stood on her tiptoes so she could get in his face.

“Look, buddy. If you don’t leave our kitchen, we’re going to call the cops. Great meal or not, you don’t belong back here.” She glared at him, not intimidated in the least.

It was almost refreshing. Nearly everyone was intimidated by him, and he rarely bothered to disabuse people of the notion that he might strike them down at any moment. He rather liked the fact that most people—magical or otherwise—were too frightened or nervous to get close to him. He was not fond of personal contact.

“Carley,” he murmured, repeating the name he’d heard the human male say a moment ago. “Did she make my steak?”

“Yeah,” the woman said with obvious impatience. “She makes all the steaks here. It’s one of her specialties. Now, can you go back to your table?”

“What else does she do?”

She gave him a peculiar look. “What do you mean?”

“What other plates? What are her other specialties?”

“Oh.” The human considered his question for a moment. “She makes a mean beef stew,” she decided. “And duck. Amazing duck. And key lime pie. I know it sounds weird, because it seems like such a simple dish, but her key lime pie is just out of this world.”

Duck. He loved duck. “Key lime pie?” he repeated out loud. He didn’t often eat dessert. There usually wasn’t meat in dessert. “Maybe I’ll give it a try,” he decided, and then he asked, “How often does she work?”

“You’re awfully damned obsessed, you know that?”

“So I’ve been told.”

~~~

 Intrigued? If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, I strongly suggest you read them first, as there are several overarching plots that make a lot more sense when you read them in order. Besides, according to the reviews, you’re bound to become addicted! Here’s the book info, in order:

LightbearerSeries4x6

Lightbearer Series by Tami Lund

Into the LiInto the Lightght

dawningoflight_CoverDawning of Light

LightBeyondDarkness_CoverLight Beyond the Darkness

And if you wanna stalk me on social media, here are the ways:

Twitter ~ Facebook ~ TSU ~ Pinterest (FYI, there’s a Lightbearer inspiration board!) ~ Newsletter Signup  (I only send one per month)

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check back tomorrow, when I feature another author and another yummy recipe on my Appetizing April Blog!

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